Print to Scale in SketchUp


How can I Print to Scale in SketchUp?


Printing to scale can be quite challenging. Following the example below, we will print a SketchUp 2D drawing (just some dimensioned rectangles) on a A3 paper sheet, using a scale 1:100.

First Step: Set Parallel Projection

Go to Camera Menu, then select Parallel Projection

SketchUp Camera Menu Set Parallel Projection

Second Step: Standard View

Select one of the Standard Views (Iso, Top, Front, Right, Back, Left).

In our example, we select the Top View.


SketchUp Top View A3 Example

Note: It is not possible to print a perspective image to scale. Ensure perspective is disabled and you are using one of the Standard Views in the Camera > Standard submenu, to enable the scale option.


Note: Even though paraline projection is used to get an output that is to scale, not all angles will be measurable to a scale. This issue is the result of SketchUp using foreshortening, or a technique of shortening lines to create a 3D effect on a 2D medium such as paper.

Third Step: Printer Setup

Go to File > Print Setup

Select your printer, paper size and paper orientation. A3 Landscape in our example.

SketchUp Printer Setup

Fourth Step: Print Preview

Go to File > Print Preview

On the Print Size, uncheck ‘Fit to page’ and ‘Use model extents’

By changing the scale: 1 In the Printout and 100 in SketchUp, the Page size dimensions will change automatically.

Now, in this example, the total pages to print are 4.

SketchUp Print Preview Scale

By clicking OK, we can see the 2D drawing is being displayed in 4 pages.

This is incorrect, as we have enough space to print it in just one page. This is one of SketchUp ‘small bugs’.

SketchUp Print Preview Wrong

Fifth Step: Adjust model to screen

With the help of the magnifying glass, we must fit the drawing within the SketchUp window. Use the zoom in and out to accurately fit your drawing to the SketchUp screen.

A hint would be resizing the SketchUp window (restore the window, not maximize).

SketchUp Model Adjusted to Screen

Once we have adjusted or fitted the drawing to the SketchUp window, we are ready to go again to File > Print Preview.

In our example, we could fit the drawing into one single page.

SketchUp Print Preview Fitted in One Page

Clicking OK will show the model ‘fitted’ to one single page, as it was supposed to be on the first place.

SketchUp Fitted Print Preview


Make sure you ‘practice’ several times, and also that your components are scaled properly to the right size using the correct paper size.

In our example, we total width and height of the components are not wider or heigher than a A3 real paper sheet.